Hannah is off on a school camp today – 2 nights away with the whole school (OK so there are only 29 of them) camping, fishing, playing games, looking at the stars and all sorts of other fun activities.
It will be her first time away with no family (she has had sleepovers at my parents house before) and I am proud of her for going enthusiastically, even though she finds the unknown hard to deal with. I am also squashing down my anxiety about her to going. In my head I know she will be fine. I totally trust her teachers, and it isn’t that far away.
But my heart is saying that she is too young – she is just my baby. How will she cope without us around to help her? She probably will forget to brush her hair and shower for the entire time. What if she gets homesick? What if she gets hurt? What if…?
I love this quote. Up until now our children have been young enough that we have only had to work on the roots part, but now we have to start on the wings. Unfortunately the wings part is harder as a parent. It involves letting them go.
So I am squashing my anxiety down where she cannot see it, and am sending her off on an adventure. If she gets home sick, or doesn’t shower, or gets hurt (all of which are unlikely – except perhaps the no shower bit), well then that is all part of the experience. If I want her to develop strong wings, I have to let her go, even if she does have an occasional slip up.
Camp has provided a timely reminder that I need to parent with the long term in mind, and that I need to do what will give my children both the roots and wings that I want them to have, without considering what is easy or comfortable for me.
It’s a continual work in progress!